Friday, August 13, 2010

Value of a Gold Star

I was just in a meeting with a few other people where it was mentioned that somebody earned a gold star.  This is generally meant in the most sarcastic way possible.  As if to say: "Congratulations, you are SOOOO helpful, now get off my lawn you glory hound".  If we take the time to over analyze this "gold star" as people are want to do on the internet we can come to a couple interesting conclusions.  First we should assume that people are actually being sarcastic and they are referring to the stickers that school children would get on their paper work for a job well done.  Also, we need to assume that a yellow sticker is our intended gold star.  It isn't to difficult to find star shaped stickers.  I found a pack of Trend Sparkle Stars and a pack of Avery Stars.

Given that 440 Stars come in a pack of Avery Stickers your average star is roughly worth 0.0025 cents.  In that pack of 440, you'll get 88 gold stars.  If you make the brash assumption that the gold stars are the most valuable stars in the pack at most they'd be worth around 1 cent.  That's assuming that the other colored stars aren't worth the foil they are printed on of course.  So If somebody gives you a Gold Avery Star at best they think your contribution was worth one penny.

A Pack of Trend Sparkles stars are a little different, you get 1300 in a pack so your average star is worth about 0.004 cents.  Things are looking up for you!  In that pack of 1300 stars you'll get 182 individual gold stars.  If we again make the assumption that the gold star is the most valuable star and the rest should really just be thrown away your gold stars are worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 cents each.

If we lived in the days of a proper five and dime store you could theoretically get a piece of candy for one Trend Sparkle Gold Stars and two Avery Gold Stars.

Of course there is actually a real Gold Star award.  The Soviet Union and several post-soviet States had and have this awarded to only the most heroic of heroes.  It is the one badge that should be worn above all other badges on your uniform.  So when that pesky guy from accounting tells you that you deserve a Gold Star you can tell him you were never much for Communist Era Medallions but you'd be glad to start a collection.

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